A “green” home is a home that is highly energy efficient, has excellent indoor environment, and is built to exceed local building code. Sounds expensive. Right? Absolutely not! You may have heard that building a green home is more expensive that conventional construction, but this is a myth. Using an experienced green home builder, a green home can be very affordable to build and can save a homeowner thousands in energy costs annually. And the homeowner could qualify for thousands in tax incentives.
A green home can be built for no more than regular construction, and has greater market value when it is completed. It is important to hire a builder that has built green homes before. A builder that has retrofitted existing homes has no experience with the type of building techniques that make green homes more affordable. In addition, an experienced green home builder can help educate the potential homeowner about green techniques, their options, and energy efficiency.
While some green home features can be expensive and retrofitting existing homes can be quite high, building a green home from scratch is very affordable. Your experienced green home builder knows that getting advice from LEED’s engineers and reorganizing the building process to save time, energy, and waste are key steps to starting the project off right. Generally speaking,the green home elements are not expensive items and since they are installed as the house is built, with no demolition of existing concrete foundations and landscaping, the cost of installation is kept lower.
In case you have been wondering what green homes look like, they look just like conventional homes (except for the solar panels) and are quieter and cleaner than conventional homes. Green home features are maintenance friendly and work just like conventional home features.
Energy efficiency savings can be substantial. Using the weather and energy costs in Illinois as an example, and comparing an affordable green home to conventional home with conventional natural gas forced air heating and central air-conditioning, typical homeowner annual bills of nearly $3,000 per year could be lowered to $700 or less – a savings of $2,100 per year. These figures are for illustrative purposes only. Your actual savings depends on the size of the home, the number of people you have living in your home, your electricity usage, and the green options you select.
With tax incentives in the thousands, energy savings worth thousands, and greater market value, building and living in a green home is an affordable option for everyone.